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Why Honeycutt Is Such an Alarming Choice for EPA's Science Advisory Panel

By Elena Craft

Michael Honeycutt—the man set to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) prestigious Science Advisory Board—has spent most of his career as a credentialed counterpoint against almost anything the EPA has proposed to protect human health.

Fortunately, his lone voice for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rarely carried beyond the Lone Star State. Until now.

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Environmental activists in kayaks protest the arrival of the Polar Pioneer, an oil drilling rig owned by Shell Oil, in Seattle. Backbone Campaign / Flickr

Moyers and McKibben: What to Do When Time Is Running Out for the Planet

By Bill Moyers

I wasn't one of the 50,766 participants who finished the New York City Marathon last weekend. Instead, I spent the average marathon finish time of 4:39:07 to read a book—obviously a small book. In the interest of disclosure, I didn't even start the race, but that's another and even shorter story than Radio Free Vermont, the book from which I did occasionally look up and out the window to check on the stream of marathoners passing our apartment, their faces worn and haggard.

A shame, I thought, that I couldn't go outside and hand each one a copy of the book that had kept me smiling throughout the day while also restoring my soul; I was sure the resilience would quickly have returned to weary feet and sore muscles now draped in aluminum foil for healing's sake. I admire those athletes, but wouldn't have traded their run for my read, because Radio Free Vermont is funny, very funny, all the more so considering the author is one of the more serious men on the planet—the planet he has spent his adult life trying to save.

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The flooded Arkema Chemicals plant in Crosby, TX after Hurrican Harvey. Arkema / Facebook

Hurricane Harvey Arkema Disaster: Scientists Say Chemical Safety Risks Were Preventable

By Charise Johnson

Halloween is right around the corner, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been a perpetual nightmare to public safety since Administrator Scott Pruitt arrived, sending long-awaited chemical safety amendments to an early grave this year.

The Risk Management Plan (RMP) is a vital EPA chemical safety rule that "requires certain facilities to develop plans that identify potential effects of a chemical accident, and take certain actions to prevent harm to the public or the environment"—but delays to the effective date of the long-awaited updates are putting communities, workers and first responders directly in the way of harm, as we have witnessed from recent events following Hurricane Harvey.

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Rice University marine biologist Adrienne Correa takes samples at a reef in Flower Garden Banks. Jesse Cancelmo / Rice University

Hurricane Harvey Runoff Threatens Coral Reefs

Hurricane Harvey's record rains didn't just unleash a torrent of floodwaters into the Gulf of Mexico—this freshwater could be harming coral reefs which require saltwater to live, according to new research.

After Harvey dumped more than 13 trillion gallons of rain over southeast Texas, researchers detected a 10 percent drop in salinity at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, located 100 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas.

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Damage caused by Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. EPA

House Passes $36.5 Billion Relief Package After Hurricane and Wildfire Disasters

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion package for hurricane and wildfire relief funding, which included emergency food assistance for low-income Puerto Rico residents.

This aid comes on top of the $15.3 billion relief measure approved by Congress in September following Hurricane Harvey. The bill advances to the Senate, which will resume session next week, before heading to the desk of President Trump, who early Thursday suggested he may withdraw federal relief workers from Puerto Rico.

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Texas Army National Guardsmen assist residents affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Lt. Zachary West

Poll Shows Most Americans Want Government Action on Climate Change, but There’s a Catch

By Farron Cousins

New polling data provides some inspiring news about the prospects for climate change action in the U.S.

According to public policy polling conducted by AP-NORC and the Energy Policy Institute at The University of Chicago, 61 percent of American citizens believe that climate change is a threat that the federal government should actively work to prevent. The poll also reveals that majorities in both major political parties—Democrats and Republicans—accept the fact that climate change is actually happening and that human activity is making it worse.

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Officials test sediment samples at the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site after Hurricane Harvey hit the region in Texas. EPA

EPA: Houston Superfund Site Leaked Toxic Chemicals After Harvey

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that Hurricane Harvey damaged a protective cap at a Superfund site along the San Jacinto River, near Houston, and caused a spike in chemical levels in the water.

Water samples from one of 14 monitoring sites at the San Jacinto waste pits indicated levels of dioxin above 70,000 parts per trillion, more than 2,000 times higher than the site's cleanup goal of 30 parts per trillion. Dioxin is a cancer-causing chemical that stays in the environment for hundreds of years before breaking down.

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New Report Predicts Climate Change Could Cost U.S. $360 Billion Per Year

Extreme weather and public health issues related to burning fossil fuels could cost the U.S. up to $360 billion annually--nearly half of annual U.S. economic growth--within the next ten years, according to a new report.

The report from the non-profit Universal Ecological Fund found that the impacts of wildfires, hurricanes, heat waves and other extreme weather amplified by climate change, combined with air pollution, cost the U.S. $240 billion per year since 2007.

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Trump Tweets Puerto Rico 'Is in Deep Trouble' as Island Pleads for More Urgent Response

President Trump said Puerto Rico is in "deep trouble" following Hurricane Maria in a statement released on Twitter Monday, his first public remarks on the crisis since the storm hit the island last week.

The president has received widespread criticism over both his silence on the crisis as he focuses on NFL protests as well as his administration's seemingly muted response to the disaster compared to the action taken in Texas and Florida.

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